3rd December, 2023
By Jethro Ibileke
Ahead of the 2024 governorship election in Edo State, an aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Asue Ighodalo, has declared that he is a “true Esan boy”, an indigene of Edo central district of the state even though he cannot speak the local language.
Asue Ighodalo who is believed to be the aspirant anointed by the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki as his successor, stated this while addressing his kinsmen, in response to critics who said he is not a ‘home boy’, but a “Lagos Boy’.
However, the economist and banker who spoke in front of his family home in Ewohimi, Esan South East Local Government of the state, could not speak his Esan language.
Speaking through an interpreter, Asue Ighodalo said: “I do things in Esanland because we are not noisy, my brother is here, I am here, my parents were here. I am a true Esan boy, I am not going to use home boy because they have used it badly. I am an Esan Boy.
“I am a true Esan boy. I am a true Edo boy. I am a true Nigerian. That is what I am. Since 2008, I have been in the economic team of the state, starting from the administration of Comrade Governor Oshiomhole. Since Godwin Obaseki came in as Chairman Economic Team, I have been coming to Edo state to support and advise the government.
“I have been advising since 2008, which is 15 years ago, which means that I came into Edo state, five, six, so many times a year for government business, not to talk about my own business. So, people can say what they like.
“Because we are not noisy, and because we are not jumping from one ‘mama put’ to another, does not mean am not a true Edo boy.
“And this issue of an Edo boy, this issue of a true son of the soil is in the heart. There are many of our brothers and sisters in the diaspora who are more Edo than many of them who live here.
“So it is in the heart, it is what you do in your heart, it is not how many pepper soup joints you go to. So all those of us in the diaspora, those of us in the diaspora in Nigeria, diaspora abroad, all the best hands must come to develop Edo State.
“Someone can’t sit in the village or in ‘mama put” and say the rest of us cannot come and develop our state; it is not done.
“We must all come together to come and develop Edo State, plus the people in ‘mama put’, plus the people in Canada, we come together and develop Edo State.”